Who We Are

Staff can be contacted via email, using the first letter of the first name and the full last name, at geneticsandsociety.org. Thus, John Doe would be jdoe[AT]geneticsandsociety[DOT]org.

Click on the name of each program staff member to see their talks, articles, news and blog posts.

Staff | Advisory Board | Fellows | Consultants

Executive Director
Photo of Marcy Darnovsky Marcy Darnovsky, PhD, speaks and writes widely on the politics of human biotechnology, focusing on their social justice and public interest implications. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Nature, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Law and Policy Review, Democracy, New Scientist and many others. She has appeared on dozens of television, radio, and online news shows and has been interviewed and cited in hundreds of news and magazine articles. She has worked as an organizer and advocate in a range of environmental and progressive political movements, and taught courses at Sonoma State University and at California State University East Bay. Her Ph.D. is from the History of Consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Director of Finance and Administration
Photo of Charles Garzon Charles Garzón, MA,, has many years of experience working with public policy and advocacy organizations. Most recent, he has been associated with a progressive policy think-tank and legal defense fund located in New York City. He holds a Bachelor's in Politics and Sociology as well as a Master's degree in Political Science with emphasis in international relations.

Program Director on Genetic Justice
Photo of Katie Hasson Katie Hasson, PhD, comes to CGS from the University of Southern California, where she was an assistant professor of sociology and gender studies. She has researched and written on reproductive technologies, women’s health movements, and menstruation, among other topics. Katie’s courses have covered a range of themes in medical sociology and science and technology studies, with a focus on gender-, race-, and class-based inequalities. Katie earned her PhD in Sociology with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality from the University of California, Berkeley.

Program Manager & Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow
Photo of Leah Lowthorp Leah Lowthorp, PhD, joined CGS from an appointment in the Folklore and Mythology program at Harvard University. As a folklorist and anthropologist, Leah’s work has spanned the impact of global cultural policy on artist communities in South Asia, community advocacy and the arts, and critique of South Asian population genetics research. She has taught on the intersections of the arts and social justice, gender, nationalism, intellectual property, and globalization at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. Leah’s interests include the cultural underpinnings of biopolitical processes, the social justice implications of human reproductive and genetic technologies, and the ways in which biopolitical narratives are circulated both online and face-to-face. Leah received a BA with high honors in Anthropology and English from UC Berkeley; an MA in International Studies from the Institut Européen des Hautes Etudes Internationales as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to France; and her PhD in Folklore and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Staff Associate
Photo of Kayla Tolentino Kayla Tolentino graduated summa cum laude from San Francisco State University in May 2016. She majored in Community-Based Health Education and minored in both Political Science and Women's Health. She was accepted into the Congressional Internship Program as a Panetta Institute Scholar, and worked in the Washington DC office of Congressman Tony Cardenas. Over the course of her studies, she developed a passionate interest in critically thinking about the ways that cultural practices, public policy, and social movements impact the human experience.

Photo of Zainab Ali
Zainab Ali is an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studies molecular biology, with a concentration in genetics, and public policy. She is currently working on a project for her senior honors thesis that looks at gene expression differences between different species of fruit flies, and between various fruit fly life stages. She recently completed work on a project that proved that life-stage independent evolution in Drosophila melanogaster is possible. Zainab is also very passionate about healthcare policy.

Photo of Katelyn Klein
Katelyn Klein is a graduating senior at the University of California, Berkeley where she is majoring in molecular and cell biology, with an emphasis in infectious disease, and minoring in disability studies. Katelyn’s passions lie in advocating for equal access to healthcare and for individuals with disabilities. She has interned for the UC Global Health Institute where she worked to create a “How-to Advocacy Guide” to help mobilize college age students to advocate for global health policies and funding. In addition, she works in various hospitals and wellness centers in Oakland connecting low income patients to public benefits and resources.

Photo of Richard Hayes Richard Hayes, PhD, was most recently visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley College of Natural Resources / Energy and Resources Group. He was founding executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, serving in that role from 2001 through 2012. He has written and spoken widely concerning democratic governance of science and technology, economic inequality, and the need for social oversight of the new human biotechnologies. Hayes has been active in social and political organizing since his student days at UC Berkeley in the 1960s. In the 1970s he worked as a community organizer with a wide range of progressive organizations. In the early 1980s he served as executive director of the San Francisco Democratic Party and ran the electoral field operations for the late Congressmembers Phillip Burton and Sala Burton. From 1983 through 1992 he served on the national staff of the Sierra Club, first as assistant political director and then as national director of volunteer development. In the early 1990s he was chair of the Sierra Club's Global Warming Campaign Committee. In 1999 he began the work that lead to the creation of the Center for Genetics and Society in 2001. He holds a PhD in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley. His current website is For A Human Future.